Objective: The authors explored resident experiences of telepsychiatry clinical training. This paper describes an analysis of evaluation forms completed by psychiatry residents following a required training experience in telepsychiatry.
Methods: Retrospective numeric and narrative data were collected from 2005 to 2012. Using a five-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree), residents ranked the session based on the following characteristics: the overall experience, interest in participating in telepsychiatry in the future, understanding service provision to underserved areas, telepsychiatry as mode of service delivery, and the unique aspects of telepsychiatry work. The authors also conducted a content analysis of narrative comments in response to open-ended questions about the positive and negative aspects of the training experience.
Results: In all, 88% of residents completed (n = 335) an anonymous evaluation following their participation in telepsychiatry consultation sessions. Numeric results were mostly positive and indicated that the experience was interesting and enjoyable, enhanced interest in participating in telepsychiatry in the future, and increased understanding of providing psychiatric services to underserved communities. Narrative data demonstrated that the most valuable aspects of training included the knowledge acquired in terms of establishing rapport and engaging with patients, using the technology, working collaboratively, identifying different approaches used, and awareness of the complexity of cases. Resident desire for more training of this nature was prevalent, specifically a wish for more detail, additional time for discussion and debriefing, and further explanation of the unique aspects of telepsychiatry as mode of delivery.
Conclusions: More evaluation of telepsychiatry training, elective or required, is needed. The context of this training offered potential side benefits of learning about interprofessional and collaborative care for the underserved.
Keywords: Evaluation; Resident; Telepsychiatry; Training.